Brian E. Bowcut represents state attorneys general and other public-sector clients as outside counsel in investigations and lawsuits involving deceptive trade practices and other forms of consumer fraud. Brian, who joined the firm in 2015, has deep experience in enforcement investigations, consumer protection law, and representation of governments at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
Brian formerly was a Trial Attorney and Senior Trial Counsel in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for nine years. Most recently, as a member of the Fraud Section, he investigated and litigated fraud across an array of government programs, from Medicare fraud by nursing facilities, hospices and medical device makers to schemes involving federal mortgage, foreign aid, and TARP funds. Before that, as a member of the Environmental Torts Section, he defended the United States as lead counsel in large-scale tort litigation. Prior to joining DOJ, Brian practiced at a preeminent national law firm, where he specialized in pharmaceutical product liability and commercial litigation. He has argued cases in numerous state and federal trial courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Brian’s recent representations include:
- Meal Delivery Apps: Representing the City of Chicago in litigation against meal delivery giants DoorDash and Grubhub for deceptive, bait-and-switch pricing; use of “dark patterns” that manipulate consumers into completing transactions; and conduct that preyed on vulnerable restaurants during the pandemic. Mr. Bowcut successfully argued against Grubhub’s motion to dismiss.
- Opioid Litigation: Representing the states of Indiana, New Jersey and Vermont in investigations and litigation against entities responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic through the deceptive marketing and sale of prescription opioids. Publicly filed enforcement actions in these matters included Indiana’s actions against Purdue, the Sackler family, and pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen; New Jersey’s actions against Purdue, the Sackler family, and Janssen; and Vermont’s actions against Purdue, the Sackler family, and distributors Cardinal and McKesson. A $26 billion nationwide settlement of litigation against the distributors and Janssen was finalized in 2022. A nationwide settlement in principle with Purdue and the Sackler family, valued at more than $6 billion, remains pending in bankruptcy proceedings.
- Nursing Homes: Representing the State of New Mexico in litigation related to Medicaid fraud and deceptive marketing by skilled nursing facilities that promised, but failed to provide, basic care to their elderly residents. Mr. Bowcut briefed and successfully argued the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.
- Energy Drink: Representing a state government in litigation against Living Essentials, Inc., the creator of 5-Hour ENERGY, for voluminous advertising misrepresenting the efficacy of the product’s “energy blend” and deceptively claiming the product was doctor-recommended
During law school, Brian was an articles editor for the Duke Law Journal. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Stanley S. Brotman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
- Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 2014-2015
- Trial Attorney, Environmental Torts Section, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 2006-2014
- District of Columbia
- Duke University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2000
- Duke University, M.A., 2000
- Utah State University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1996
- Law Clerk, the Hon. Judge Stanley S. Brotman, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, 2000-2001